Friday, May 31, 2013

Illinois Gay Marriage Dilemma

Update: The Illinois General Assembly ended its current session without passing SB10, their marriage equality bill.
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned Thursday night without passing SB10 which with the Governor's signature would make Illinois the 13th state to enact equal marriage rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people. The Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session Friday night & the marriage equality bill still has not been called for a vote in the state House where supporters are struggling to round up the 60 votes necessary to pass it. Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network stated, "It is outrageous that the LGBT community is being used as a political football by Illinois Democrats, that a vote on our rights is going down to the wire like this. Anyone who knows anything about Illinois politics knows that Speaker Mike Madigan (D) owns the House, with an overwhelming majority. He readily whips his caucus into passing giveaways to his wealthy donors while gutting pensions for Illinois workers, passing environmentally devastating fracking legislation & yet when it comes to equal rights legislation, he can't muster the political courage to get it done. If this bill fails Friday in the last day of the session, we will put its failure right at Mike Madigan's doorstep." Updates To Come…:)
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Funding For New Transgender Film

Filmmaker Alexia Kosmider is producing a powerful new documentary "TransJourney" that will change peoples’ perceptions about gender, family & belonging. In her memoir, "I'm Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted", transgender author Jenny Finney Boylan quotes her mother with a saying: "It is impossible to hate anyone whose story you know." This documentary intends to do just that. The plan is to Travel in Sandra's minivan from Rhode Island to Seattle, the film crew will capture Sandra's & Shannon’s first meeting & film Annabelle's & Shannon's lives. Tell a story--several stories to be exact. The film will show the world that people who identify as transgender are no different than anyone else. Their gender identity is only one aspect of who they are & does not define them. Transgender men & women share the same hopes & dreams as everyone else. But they can't make this film without our help. Now is your last chance to contribute to their campaign on Indiegogo. The TransJourney Indiegogo campaign ends tomorrow May 31st & they need your help. A $10 donation will help pays tolls, buy gas or food for the film crew while they make their cross-country journey. Once the film is completed they plan to hold premiere screenings of the documentary at film festivals. In addition, their goal is to screen "TransJourney" at colleges & universities throughout the U.S. & internationally. They’ll need help to cover costs associated with travel, marketing & film festival premieres.
To Donate & Info: indiegogo.com/transjourney
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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New LGBT Athletes & Artists Group

Gay activist David McFarland the former Chair & CEO of the Trevor Project & a global philanthropy advisor has launched a new nonprofit organization called “United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment”. The new organization will serve as a national & international advocacy group in achieving equality in sport & entertainment for LGBT athletes & artists. McFarland, UESE’s CEO stated, “I am thrilled to announce the launch of United for Equality in Sports & Entertainment. Sport & entertainment have the unique power to ignite, attract, mobilize & inspire. By their very nature, sport & entertainment provide effective platforms to promote the ideals of respect, acceptance, fairness, sportsmanship & equality for all. As a community that cares, we must take a bigger stance now, particularly for LGBT youth who need the leadership of an organization like UESE. Each one of us deserves a chance to dream for the future, no matter who we are, who we love or how we express our gender. For too many LGBT young people, the built-in safety nets of support, acceptance and caring do not exist in sport.” Since leaving The Trevor Project in 2012, McFarland has spent the last year developing & building the infrastructure & mission for UESE. UESE, based in Los Angeles, will steer the conversation around promoting equality for all in sport & entertainment. UESE will collaborate with its partners to raise awareness about the importance of equality as a powerful tool in the advancement of social change & the creation of a safe & educated environment for openly LGBT athletes & artists. For More Info: UESE.org
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boston Pride Week May 31- June 9

Boston Pride’s theme this year is “Moving Forward…Proud, Strong, United.” Linda DeMarco, President of Boston Pride stated, “Boston’s LGBT community has witnessed much adversity throughout the fight for equality over the past few decades. In working together, the community has become a leader in the fight for LGBT rights. Pride Week this year will celebrate the importance of continuing to lead this nation in the fight for equality as a united front.” The Boston Pride Committee invites you to kick-off Pride Week by participating in their annual Flag Raising Ceremony Friday, May 31st on the Plaza of Boston’s City Hall at 12 noon. The Flag Raising over City Hall Ceremony is the official, symbolic & important event that initiates Boston Pride Week 2013. Then on Pride Day Saturday, June 1st at Faneuil Hall one of Boston's most historic landmarks, celebrate Pride with a family friendly event including entertainers, awards, shopping, food & more. Hosted by Raquel Blake, one of New England’s Premiere Drag Performers, it is sure to be a fun filled day of music, dance & entertainment. Rain or shine there's plenty to see & do. There will be parties & special events all week long including Boston's biggest & most popular parade & festival on June 8th. Updates to Come…:)  
For Events & More Info: bostonpride.org 
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Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day For Gay Military

This Memorial Day we remember our gay & lesbian service members & their families as they continue to serve our country. Even after the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ our gay & lesbian military are still confronted with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that forces the military to treat legally married gay & lesbian service members & their families differently than it treats all other married service members & their families. Ashley Broadway of the American Military Partner Association, the nation’s premier resource and support network for LGBT military families stated, “For far too long, our LGBT military families have been treated as if they aren't important & as if they don't matter. We serve our nation, but without the same support & benefits needed to care for our families. For the sake of our children & family readiness, we must end the discrimination & exclusion caused by DOMA.” Next month the US Supreme Court will rule on the unconstitutionality of DOMA & California’s Proposition 8. As we wait for this decision with nervous anticipation we want to remember all those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom especially our gay & lesbian service members & their families who pay a price every day as they serve our country without the 1100 rights & protections that their straight counterparts receive. It’s time to end the so-called Defense of Marriage Act & honor these brave patriots by treating them equally.
Listen: “The Real L Word” Somer Bingham Speaks OUTHear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™

Saturday, May 25, 2013

HBO Goes Gay Behind the Candelabra

We’re looking forward to Steven Soderbergh’s HBO movie “Behind the Candelabra” starring Michael Douglas as gay icon Liberace & Matt Damon as Scott Thorson his poor choice in young men. The legendary Debbie Reynolds also appears as Liberace’s overbearing mother. Some journalists are saying this film comes off like a Jim Crow version of gay life & you just can’t get your mind around fear & secrecy that defined gay men back in the 1980’s. However we’re still looking forward to seeing these 2 straight men make the attempt of portraying this iconic gay couple even though Matt Damon who’s 42 plays Thorson from the age of 18 to 29, could be a bit of a stretch. We know from seeing Michael Douglas on the TV series “Will & Grace” he was almost seamless as a gay man so portraying Liberace has to be a treat. Let’s go into this with an open mind & either be entertained or horrified. After all the screenplay is based on a tell-all book of the same name by Scott Thorson who was Liberace’s live-in lover, chauffeur & houseboy. It was released a year after Liberace died in 1987 & was received as an act revenge penned in the wake of a bitter legal dispute. So watch it with a gain of salt but enjoy the glamorous glitz & glitter of a time when being gay was very much still in the closet. The 2 hour “Behind the Candelabra” airs Sunday at 9P on HBO.
Listen: “The Real L Word” Somer Bingham Speaks OUT
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Provincetown Film Fest 15th Year

The Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) which takes place in Provincetown, MA from June 19th to 23rd has announced their 2013 honorees. Matt Dillon will receive the Excellence in Acting Award sponsored by American Express, Ed Lachman cinematographer of such great film as “Far From Heaven” & “Erin Brockovich” will receive the Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award sponsored by the Mallrd Foundation & Harmony Korine will receive the Filmmaker on The Edge Award sponsored by the Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation. PIFF is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a few of its past fabulous celebrity honorees including openly gay directors Todd Haynes, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, John Waters & producer Christine Vachon just to name a few. The Opening Night Film will be “Lovelace", the Friday Night Spotlight selection is “I Am Divine” the new documentary by Jeffrey Schwarz who told me last month that he will be attending as well. This is the 6th year we’ll be covering PIFF for OUTTAKE VOICES. Presenting Sponsors of the 2013 Festival are HBO, Crown & Anchor, MALLRD Foundation, Bubala's, Local 186, Xfinity, Ultra & Official Card: American Express. PIFF is also supported by grants from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, The National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, Provincetown Tourism Fund & the GALE Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 25th & festival passes are on sale now. Passes are the best way to go to insure you won't miss any of these great films & events.
For Film Info & More: ptownfilmfest.org 
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts Anti Gay Sanction (Audio)

Just In: Boy Scouts Voted to Accept Gay Scouts But Not Gay Scout Leaders. Updates to Come On This Iffy Decision...:)
Even though a recent Washington Post-ABC News national poll found that 63 percent of respondents favored letting openly gay youth be Scouts & 56 percent favored lifting the ban on gay adults the battle continues. The Boy Scouts of America remain in a two-day meeting of 1,400 local leaders to consider changing its long-standing anti gay ban policy. The final vote is scheduled for Thursday in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine. Last month we reported that the BSA was close to allowing openly gay scouts but still not allow openly gay adults as scout leaders. This means that if a 16-year-old openly gay Scout earned his Eagle badge, 3 years later if he applied for a position as a volunteer assistant scoutmaster he would be rejected because of his sexual orientation. Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality & the son of a lesbian couple stated, “Scouts for Equality will continue its efforts until discrimination is no longer a word associated with the BSA. Today across the country our members are united by one common goal — to make the BSA organization the strongest it can be.” Jennifer Tyrrell the Ohio mom ousted by the Boy Scouts of America in 2012 stated, "This isn't just about Boy Scouts this is about equality in all aspects of life. Boy Scouts of America needs to realize that they're sending a dangerous message to children by telling them that they're not good enough. I am making sure no parent ever has to look their child in the eye & say we're not good enough. You have no idea how much that hurts because Alicia & I are good enough & these kids, that we're raising, are amazing. Ask anyone." I spoke to Jennifer Tyrrell about this at the GLAAD Awards in NYC in this exclusive audio byte:

The New Anti Gay Immigration Bill

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) was forced to withhold critical amendments that would have added protections for gay & lesbian binational couples due to lack of support from his own party. We needed all the Democrats on the committee to support these amendments. Unfortunately it's appalling that Senators Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin & Franken sided with eight Republicans to ensure that the immigration bill moving forward is not LGBT inclusive, is not comprehensive & will discriminate against legally married gay & lesbian Americans with foreign spouses. The Democrats who sided with the Republicans - Schumer, Feinstein, Durbin & Franken have betrayed the very LGBT constituencies who have supported them throughout their political careers. It is questionable whether any of them would be in power today without our votes. Each of these leaders talks about marriage equality & ending discrimination against gay & lesbian Americans but when they had the chance to show they meant what they said, they failed the LGBT community & all Americans who believe in equality & fairness. After the vote Felipe Sousa-Rodriguez Co-Director of GetEqual stated, “Today it became clear that our so-called ‘friends’ don’t have the courage or the spine to stand up for what’s right. Democratic lawmakers are content to buy into the false choice that Republicans created — holding a sorely needed immigration bill hostage in order to cement inequality into law.” Let’s thank Senator Leahy for his courage in this uphill battle against bigotry & politicians like the Senators named above, along with Senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake & John McCain, who insisted that the inclusion of mere 36,000 people would derail a bill that offers so much hope to more than 11 million. You can call him at 202-224-4242 or Twitter: @SenLeahy
For More Info: out4immigration.org 
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Boston Pride Night At Fenway Park

Boston Pride has announced the first ever Pride Night at Fenway Park as an official 2013 Pride Week event. Boston’s LGBT community will be recognized at the Boston Red Sox vs. Texas Rangers baseball game at Fenway Park on Thursday, June 6th at 7:10P. Linda DeMarco Boston Pride President stated, “Boston Pride is delighted to be working with the Boston Red Sox on Pride Night at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox are a strong ally to the LGBT community & to have a special Pride Night brings additional excitement to the week’s events.” In addition to Pride Night at Fenway Park, with the emergence of support for inclusivity of the LGBT community in major league sports, Boston Pride’s Human Rights & Education Committee will host a discussion free of charge & open to the public entitled “Out In Sports: Moving Forward – A Panel Discussion on LGBT People in Sports” as a part of Pride Week on Wednesday, June 5th at the Boston Public Library at 6:15P. This is a fab way to kick off Boston Pride. Tickets for the game are $30. We already have ours & at that price you know they'll sell-OUT fast. The Red Sox will also donate a percentage of tickets sales for Pride Night at Fenway Park to benefit Boston Pride, a nonprofit, 501 © 3 corporation.
For Info & Tix: bostonpride.org 
Listen: “The Real L Word” Somer Bingham Speaks OUT
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Monday, May 20, 2013

How Cher Changed My Life (Video)

On April 3rd 1978 I was in Florida with my then girlfriend. We had intended to stay the night with a relative who turned out to be so anti gay & homophobic we had to leave & find a hotel. Two things happened that night that forever changed my life. First was when I turned on the TV in the hotel/motel room & caught “Cher... Special” that aired on ABC. This was one of the most groundbreaking & brilliant TV shows ever, about thirty years ahead of its time. Especially one skit where Cher performs "West Side Story" & portrays all the characters, both male & female beautifully edited together. I was totally blown away that this fabulous drag masterpiece was airing on primetime network TV. (See 12:44 Video Below) The second thing that happened was we went to see the movie "Network". I had worked in the television industry in Boston at WCVB the ABC affiliate but left when they changed their commitment to original programing. After seeing what Cher had accomplished on her TV special & watching the movie version of Paddy Chayefsky’s "Network" predicting the future of TV, I decided it was time to return mainstream television. Within six months I was working for network TV in New York where I won by Emmy award. But the magic of my Cher story continued. In 1985 at a party for the MTV awards I got to meet Cher in the Mike Todd VIP Room of the Palladium in NYC & tell her how brilliant her "West Side Story" was. She was so appreciative & I must say the most genuine celebrity I have ever encountered.
Happy Birthday Cher & thank you for changing my life.
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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Marriage Equality USA Gala

Marriage Equality USA is having its 15th Annual National Gala honoring Lea DeLaria, Google & Swish on Tuesday, May 21st from 6-10P at 404 NYC, 404 10th Avenue in New York City. The event will bring together LGBT community members & leaders, gay allies, entertainment industry, corporate leaders & celebrities to raise funds for the marriage equality movement. Stephen Wallem from Showtime’s Nurse Jackie will emcee & NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Vicci Martinez will perform. Guests will enjoy a celebratory evening of cocktails, dinner, entertainment, awards, a silent auction & more! Lea DeLaria stated, "As an out performer this issue is incredibly personal to me, which is why I have proudly supported both the cause & Marriage Equality USA (MESUA) for many years. It is an honor to be recognized by my friends at MEUSA." Cathy Marino-Thomas, Marriage Equality USA Board Co-President added, "On Tuesday May 21, on the verge of historic rulings in the landmark marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, our community will gather in New York City to celebrate how far we've come & to acknowledge the leaders who are going the distance to make sure the constitution's fundamental guarantees of freedom and fairness apply to all Americans.
For More Info & Tix: marriageequality.org
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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Boston Gay Youth Pride Event

Boston Pride in collaboration with BAGLY & Friends of LGBT Youth are celebrating Massachusetts Youth Pride Today Saturday May 18th from 11A to 4P at the Boston Common. Massachusetts Youth Pride is a one-day annual festival that celebrates the year round commitment of diversity of youth within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They’re expecting more than 5,000 LGBT youth, adult allies & supporters to march in this year’s parade. The parade will start at the Boston Common Bandstand & will march up Beacon Street, turn left on Bowdoin Street, then turn right on Cambridge Street, right on Tremont Street & end back at the Bandstand, where the festival will be held. This year’s festival will feature live entertainment & vendors for all ages. Malcolm Carey Boston Pride Committee Board Member stated, “Youth Pride is a great opportunity for the younger members of Massachusetts’ LGBT community to gather together & celebrate pride & awareness. The youth are heavily involved in all of the decision making & planning & the event will be a great celebration & resource for all attendees.” The Massachusetts Youth Pride celebration started in 1994 when a committee of young people rallied at the steps of the State House & marched through Boston’s streets. The tradition has continued through the years & has evolved into a full day event. This year’s festival will include dozens of community & resource tables for the youth as well as speakers & live entertainment. Check in is at 9:30A then 10A is the Gather & Mingle with a Rally at 11A. At 12noon the March Kicks Off & then the Festival runs from 1-4P. The weather is perfect so get out & support our LGBT youth! Updates to Come…:)
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Friday, May 17, 2013

Mayor Menino Pride Grand Marshal

Boston Pride has named fierce gay ally Mayor Thomas Menino Grand Marshal of this year’s Pride Parade. The late Jeanne Manford PFLAG's Founder has been chosen as Honorary Marshal. Linda DeMarco Boston Pride President stated, “We are excited to name Mayor Menino as Boston Pride’s Grand Marshal this year. As this is Mayor Menino’s last year serving as our city’s mayor, we are thrilled that he will be leading the Boston Pride Parade as it is a way for everyone to thank him for being a passionate supporter of Boston Pride & our LGBT community throughout his tenure.” Boston Pride Week 2013 will be held from May 31st through June 9th. This year’s theme is “Moving Forward… Proud, Strong, United”, especially fitting after dealing with the Marathon Bombing. The Boston Pride Parade is to celebrate & promote equal rights for the region's gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender communities & is the premier event of Pride Week. As one of the most popular Pride Parades in the country, organizations & individuals from around New England & beyond will walk together to advocate for inclusivity, equality & respect. Kicking the week off with the annual Flag Raising ceremony, 2013 Pride Week will also include Pride Day @ Faneuil Hall, the Royal Pageant, the Boston Pride Parade, the Boston Pride Festival, the Boston Pride Youth Dance, the Boston Pride Block Party: JP Edition, the Boston Pride Block Party: Back Bay Edition, a panel discussion on “LGBTs in Sports” & the first ever Pride Night @ Fenway Park.
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Gay Ally Matthew Morrison Joins HRC

Glee Star Matthew Morrison announced he’s partnering with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in support of LGBT equality. Matthew is using his platform to publicly support LGBT equality & has released a video for HRC’s “Americans for Marriage Equality". Partial proceeds from his new studio album “Where It All Began” will benefit HRC. Morrison stated, “I’m thrilled to join HRC in their vital work to bring full equality to all Americans. At this decisive moment, when there is so much work still ahead, I’m standing with HRC & LGBT people across the country until this fight is won.” Morrison turned to legendary producer Phil Ramone along with Grammy Award-winning producer Gregg Field to create the 12 songs featured on the album. The record marks the first release from 222 Records the newly formed label from Adam Levine. 222 Records in partnership with Matthew Morrison will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign. Adam Levine added, “It was so great working with Matthew on “Where It All Began”. He is an amazing artist & we are longtime friends. We’re both huge supporters of the LGBT community & I’m glad that partial proceeds from the pre-sale of this album will go toward such a great cause.” Chad Griffin HRC President concluded, “Not only is Matthew a brilliant musical talent, but perhaps more importantly he is a fantastic human being. His support for equality at this critical time in our nation’s history is something that is important to all fair minded Americans.” The album which will be released on June 4th features an assortment of classic standards, many of which were first made famous in Broadway musicals.
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LGBT Aging Project Joins Fenway

The LGBT Aging Project, New England's premier organization for programs & advocacy for LGBT older adults will become an affiliate of Fenway Health, Boston’s LGBT medical center effective July 1st. The LGBT Aging Project will become part of Fenway's research, education & policy division, The Fenway Institute. This new affiliation will reinforce the commitment of both the LGBT Aging Project & Fenway Health to the growing LGBT older adult community. Lisa Krinsky, Director of the LGBT Aging Project stated, "The LGBT Aging Project will maintain its mission, identity & staff with the Fenway Institute as our new home. We are excited to join the Fenway family & to grow our programs to positively impact the lives of larger numbers of LGBT older adults & caregivers. We are equally excited to help Fenway expand their work in LGBT aging." Stephen L. Boswell, MD, Fenway Health President & CEO added, "Fenway is extremely excited by this partnership. As more members of our community reach their 50s, 60s, 70s & beyond, care & services for LGBT older adults are going to be increasingly important. We look forward to working with the staff of the LGBT Aging Project on growing their programs & tapping into their expertise to help Fenway better serve our elders." We’re all aging so this is great news for our senior LGBT community in New England that has recently become a gay marriage zone…:)
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NYC LGBT Law Project Gets Grant

The New York Legal Assistance Group’s LGBT Law Project & the LGBT Bar Association Foundation of Greater New York (LeGaL Foundation) have been awarded a $9,000 grant from the Stonewall Community Foundation in support of the organizations’ LGBT Life Planning Clinic. The LGBT Life Planning Clinic assists community members of modest means with the preparation of long-term life planning documents, including health care proxies, living wills, wills & powers of attorney. As a result of the grant award, the clinic is now held regularly each Tuesday night at The Center in the West Village. Virginia Goggin, Coordinating Attorney of NYLAG’s LGBT Law Project stated, “We’re so pleased to receive this support. The grant not only enhances our ability to serve the community but also further strengthens our organizations’ collaboration.” Brad Snyder LeGaL’s Executive Director added, “We’re thrilled to see a service that began as a pilot project receive the support needed to expand. We’re looking forward to reaching more community members throughout New York City.” The clinic was created in response to the increasing need for life planning documents, which are vital to ensuring the greatest protections possible for the LGBT community in the face of continuing inequality under the law & ever-changing legal developments. The law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, a generous supporter of both organizations, will host a May 20th CLE for attorneys interested in volunteering for the project.
For More Info: le-gal.org 
LISTEN: Cathy Marino-Thomas & Marriage Equality USA
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gay Marriage Historic Photo Event

Be part of an historic photo celebrating nine years of marriage equality in Massachusetts. Join GLAD, (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders) the Respect for Marriage Coalition & Boston Mayor Thomas Menino for a celebration of the ninth anniversary of marriage equality in the United States & be included in this photo gathering. On Thursday May 16th from 2:45P until 3:30P LGBT couples & families are invited to gather for a photo at the Boston Public Gardens in Massachusetts where it all began nearly a decade ago. Given the recent victory in Rhode Island making New England a complete marriage equality zone & with the two historic marriage equality cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court, the time is right to recognize these first marriages. Especially now that Delaware & Minnesota have become the 11th & 12th states to pass gay marriage this is a fabulous opportunity to be part of this historic event. There will be brief remarks from GLAD & Mayor Menino in our beautiful Boston Public Gardens & the weather is suppose to be in the 70’s & perfect. So spread the word & RSVP if you can attend:glad.org
Then on Friday May 17th keep the celebration going by attending “The Bear Sessions: Portraiture” a series of photographs being showcased at the Boston Center for Adult Education. BCAE is premiering the show with their second annual LGBT “Sip the Rainbow” cocktail reception from 6P-8P on May 17th. The exhibit runs through June 2013. Let's Celebrate!!
For More Info & Listen To The Bear Sessions Interview 
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